The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), delivered by British Business Bank (BBB), has reached a key milestone of facilitating £30 million of investment in the Liverpool City Region, over £15 million of which has been invested directly by the Fund itself with the remainder leveraged from the private sector.
“Supporting 72 innovative businesses with over £30m of investment in the region is a testament to the effective collaboration between the British Business Bank, the Local Enterprise Partnership, the Growth Hub and other stakeholders in the region”, says Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank. “We will continue to work closely with our Fund Managers and partners in the region as we maintain this momentum, providing vital support to businesses in Liverpool City Region.”
Maven, which has been managing a portion of the equity element of NPIF since its inception in 2017, has been working alongside the BBB to help dynamic and innovative businesses across Merseyside achieve their growth ambitions. To date, NPIF Maven Equity Finance has now facilitated over £5 million of equity investment to a number of ambitious small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the region, helping to support a multitude of corporate activities such as entering new markets, launching new products, hiring new talent or exporting abroad.
Recent investments made by the NPIF Maven Equity Finance fund include RedWigWam, which has developed a SaaS recruiting platform that connects flexible workers to employers. Founded four years ago by serial entrepreneur Lorna Davidson, who previously founded and profitably exited Tactical Solutions, the business uses AI-powered algorithms to match workers with employers’ short-term or ad-hoc opportunities with 98% of posts filled within four hours, allowing them to meet fluctuating staffing requirements. The NPIF investment will enable RedWigWam to expand marketing and PR activities, grow its team and further develop its innovative platform.
International chemical technology business, Liverpool ChiroChem (LCC), also recently received backing from NPIF - Maven Equity Finance. Since it was founded in 2014, LCC has produced products that support global pharmaceutical companies during the drug discovery process. The NPIF investment is support the business as it grows its UK operations and will help provide the capacity required to deliver new projects with other world leading specialists in the pharmaceutical sector.
“The North West has historically been a key driver of UK economic growth and a hotbed for innovative smaller businesses. None more so than the Liverpool City Region”, says Ryan Bevington, Investment Director at Maven. “We are seeing a number of dynamic and entrepreneurial businesses coming to the fore, with the creative and digital sectors proving to be strong. The past six months has been a significant test for any organisation, big or small, but it is pleasing to see the strength, resilience and ingenuity shown by businesses across the Liverpool City Region and how they have been able to adapt their business models to stay competitive during these difficult times."
“Ambition cannot be extinguished and the equity finance we can offer businesses across Merseyside is ensuring that this ambition can be matched with a flexible funding solution tailored to the growth requirements of your business.”
The Northern Powerhouse strategy, designed to transform growth in the region, rebalance the country’s economy and establish the North as a global powerhouse, has played a critical role in recent years to boost investment in SMEs throughout the 10 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas covered by the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. The positive impact that the Fund has had across Liverpool and the surrounding areas is a sentiment shared by Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP. “The NPIF team have provided valuable support to our business community since the launch of the fund in 2017, and it is fantastic to see the impact it is having on unlocking business potential and creating jobs in the city region”, says Asif. “To continue this momentum, we are working closely with the Fund Managers and existing providers to ensure there is a simple joined up approach for business across the city region through Growth Platform and our local delivery partners.”